MONTPELLIER: Australia have been swallowing a big piece of humble pie ahead of the World Cup by admitting that bitter rivals New Zealand are the favourites to claim the Webb Ellis trophy.
Australia are the only country to have won the World Cup more than once, despite the All Blacks starting most tournaments as the overwhelming favourites.
But time and again New Zealand have stumbled just before the finishing line and the Wallabies seem happy to crank up the pressure.
Coach John Connolly was not writing his own side's chances off, but did admit that the All Blacks are the team to beat.
He wasn't getting too far ahead of himself, though, insisting that the task of easing out of a group containing Wales, Fiji, Canada and Japan, would not be the stroll in the park everyone seems to be expecting.
We don't see it as easy. We have to concentrate on ourselves playing well, he said.
It's fair to say that the All Blacks probably deserve to be the favourites. We have four teams, the All Blacks, South Africa, France and us. AFP